No double entendre with this title– I mean the actual Gershwin piece.
I’m playing in the select small jazz orchestra for Rhapsody in our next band concert, and last night we had our first run-through with our guest pianist.
It was pretty darn cool.
Rhapsody in Blue is kind of one of those cliché pieces that everyone knows. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t incredible music– and incredibly difficult.
It’s been on my “bucket list” of pieces to play, so I’m quite excited to be doing it.
Our piano soloist is “Nichito”. I don’t know his real name, but everyone just calls him by his nickname anyway. He’s a pudgy, Cuban-American with fingers that just fly!
This guy plays in Cuban jazz combos and with orchestras and shit all over. I guess it was quite a coup getting him to play our concert.
So naturally we in the jazz orchestra don’t want to suck. And last night we didn’t.
We all brought our A-game and shit sounded good.
It was really a joy to sit and play with Nichito. He’s doing some fun interpretations of the piece, almost comedic in places. But also he runs the gamut of delicately lyrical to wickedly forceful. I feared for that piano!
(We’re bringing in a special, huge Yamaha grand for the concert).
But most of all, let me just say that his tempos are… robust. Robust here meaning “ludicrous speed”. So much so that there is a triplet passage that I can’t quite play yet. It’s ridiculous.
I’m looking forward to the concert; it should be a good one.